May 22


Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 67

This week on the podcast we will be answering your questions! Today, most of the questions will revolve around ONYX.

If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here: Contact Form and there will be an option to allow you to leave your voice message.

I’ve been considering some ideas on how to fund the podcast for the long haul. It’s my goal to continue producing high quality content for my followers.

Last week I mention and pitched the idea of patreon and maybe even scaling back to two episodes a month. Or even bringing on advertisers. I would love to hear what you think and your thoughts on this.

You can contact me here: Contact Form

Main Segment (3:18)

Jeff (3:26): Does M-PC use a lot of processor bandwidth? I run my whole show on my pc and use Ableton live and play a lot of VSTi instruments live so I have to be careful not to tax the processor too much that it would affect the show quality.

This is one of those questions that it depends on how many lights you have set up and how many cues you have firing off.

The biggest thing that I noticed is that ONYX uses the hardware very well. But it does require a good hard drive. I can tell you that ONYX runs well but be sure to have a good hard drive and it should be okay.

For the processor it’s hard to say so I would recommend start setting up your show. There is a window in ONYX called Hardware Monitor and I would keep that open as you set up your show. Then, just watch it as you go and you may see certain parts of the show that really effect the hard drive.

Clinton (8:21): I am wondering if you have made a video about the unassigned channels detected window that pops up. I had Ofer Bram make a profile for a laser, but this window keeps coming up and I’m not sure how to assign these.

I don’t have a specific video for this scenario but I have made videos for topics like these in Learn Stage Lighting Labs.

When you see this window come up it means that you’ve brought in a profile that some of the channels were not assigned to a parameter group. So when this window does come up you’ll just want to assign that to a parameter group.

Learn Stage Lighting Labs (10:30)

Learn Stage Lighting Labs is the sponsor of this podcast and I’ve seen many situations such as Clinton’s. On Learn Stage Lighting Labs I try to keep the pricing low and keep it more accessible to more people.

Inside of Labs we have customized tutorials, forums, and access to personalized assistance for tour lighting needs.

Zack (15:23): Just had a quick question, do DMX splitters with optical isolation actually isolate problems like flickering to that specific leg of the DMX chain from all the rest of the other legs?

This is a great question as I’ve seen a shift in the past few years. The quality of the DMX splitters has become more problematic since people have wanted the price of DMX splitter to go down.

In more modern splitters there are some flickering and other issues. From my experience the splitters with optical isolation do keep the issues isolated but not always.

Diego (19:54): I’ve recently started with Onyx and when I go to launch a show there is no option for me in the obsidian folder to go launch onyx from scratch, go to the home screen with new show and so on, I can only load the pre resisting shows that come with the download. I was wondering if you had any solutions for this.

If you haven’t already you may want to check out my Beginning with the Basics on ONYX on YouTube. These tutorials have a lot of great information.

Local Disk > Program Files > Obsidian Controls > ONYX this is where the program is saved. There should be an empty show file that you can work with.

If you don’t have those files you may want to consider just reinstalling the program files so that you have those files available to work with.

Worla (22:47): Hello, it’s great to chance on your site and I’m really grateful as I’m about getting into stage lighting as I admire the art of lighting in stages. I was going to buy a physical console until this morning that I read your articles and changed my mind. Now, I checked prices of Enttec on amazon realized there different kinds of them. Which one will you recommend for a beginner like me which is also a good budget buy.

Before you purchase any hardware it is best that you choose the console you want to work with. This is a question I get very often. I just released a video last week discussing the differences in basic, intermediate, and professional consoles.

What is the Difference Between Basic, Intermediate and Professional Lighting Consoles?

Another great resource is a post that I refer to for a lot of people to before they choose their next console.

How Do I Choose My First (or Next) Lighting Console?

After going through these posts and videos I would like for you to download some software, play with it, and see which ones stand out to you. It’s really important to choose a console based on what your needs will be.

Seth (26:09): Hey! Thanks for all of your free tutorials on youtube! They have helped me tremendously with learning M-PC and Onyx.
We are currently running Onyx (just updated from M-PC) and a M2PC controller. I’m having two problems here I was wondering if you could help me with.
1. I can’t figure out how to change the fade times between cues in a cue list. I have gone into settings and tried adjusting there, as well as changing the global rate within the editor, but nothing seems to make any difference. Right now the transitions are way too fast. I remember in M-PC there was a column within the cuelist that allowed you to set custom fade times, but I can’t find that anywhere.
2. I have been working away at building a preset library to cut down on our programming times. This saves so much time, especially with moving head fixture positioning. However, I’m running into a problem. When I am working on building multiple cues for a song, normally I will copy the previous cue, then simply update the copy to make whatever changes I am looking at doing. Now, when I update the copy, it comes up with presets applied to it (that weren’t even on the original). Then when I update the cue, the saved version doesn’t have any of this. Why is this happening? My only solution is to manually go through the editor and reset all of the ‘browned’ out parameters (that are linked to a preset).
Does this have anything to do with a dialogue box that comes up sometimes asking about ’embedded references’? When that comes up, I usually say ‘break references’, although I have no clue what that actually is talking about. 

I’m not sure what version you’re looking for but to answer your first question the window you are looking for is Cuelist Values. When you find that window be sure to have your cuelist selected and click edit. Then you should be able to change the fade times between the cues.

For the second question there’s a couple of things going on here. It’s normally not ideal to create a cuelist and then copy it to create another cuelist.

The way these types of consoles are designed is that you create a cue, don’t press clear, create, and modify the next cue. Browned out values normally showing you the values you haven’t selected, values that haven’t been brought into the programmer, but the lights are doing these things and they are getting that information from a cue. You won’t have to do anything with these and it does nothing when creating a new cue.

Embedded references are presets that are already built, you can save these, and then create an embedded reference.

Annie (35:01): We are a tiny non-profit theatre company in SW Idaho and have a studio theatre for our smaller shows. Our lighting engineer travels with Disney on Ice and is out of the country. We have a show opening tonight. Unfortunately, we had to trouble shoot our lighting system and, watching your videos, we set up an entirely new program, rather than using the existing base that quit working. We use Martin PC/ONXY. Last night, I got everything working, but I added a presetsthat I don’t want. Whatever I did is making it impossible to program a black out in our 18X15 RGBAW fixtures without manually zeroing out the colors to blackout. I can’t seem to delete the bad preset and I cannot find any information on your tutorials, or elsewhere, that tells me how to delete it. I’m hoping you can email me and let me know how to delete the bad preset. Thanks! Your vids are GREAT!

What probably happened is that this may have become your Default Preset. I do have a video about you can change this and set it to whatever you want.

Creating Presets with ONYX

I do have a lot of great tutorials to get you started with ONYX inside of Learn Stage Lighting Labs, so be sure to check it out!

Josh (42:26): You’ve been a great help in the past on using M-PC/Onyx, so just wanted to reach out with another quick question. I’ve got a show completely programmed for a band to a click etc. I’ve been able to add in more wash type moving heads to expand the show via cloning. However, I would like to add some “spot/gobo/profile” style lights in for one show and I’m not sure if this is possible, can you help? I’m just not sure if the spot type fixture would clone the colors for the RGBW fixtures already in the show file since they’re a color wheel rather than RGBW color mixing. Let me know if there is a way to make this work! 

This is where presets come in handy but at the end of the day, you’re never going to get a perfect clone for this. When you clone you will get the information for the position, tilt, etc but this won’t give you the info for the color mixing.

But you’re still off to a great start because you’re already getting ahead with attributes. But cloning will only copy over the information it can.

Closing (45:05)

As I mentioned earlier in the show I would love to hear your thoughts on the future of this podcast. To keep doing what I do with this I need to consider patreon, advertisers, or even reducing the episodes to twice a month. But I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this, what would you like to see in the future? Contact Form

Be sure to tune into next week’s show we’re going to have Wesley on the show who is an old friend of mine that works as a Church Lighting Director. We will discussing working with volunteers, working with stage lighting, etc. Hope to see you there!

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